Tag Archives: Utilities

A Road Runs Through It

poster

For decades the Copper Country’s southern range – the rugged highlands south of the Portage Valley – seem to be barren of the great copper riches found along the rest of the peninsula. At first hopes were high as speculators were immediatly attracted to the rocky summit overlooking present day South …

A Quincy Enigma

featured

Found in the shadow of the great Quincy No.2 shaft/rock house was this interesting wooden artifact partially obscured by a small evergreen tree. At first glance it looked to be some type of wooden pipe, leading out from the old sandstone supply house. But surely that cannot be the case, …

The Tunnel

featured

At the turn of the century the heart of any mine operation was its steam plant, a battery of coal-fed boilers which worked day and night to provided the mine’s compliment of victorian machinery with much needed lifeblood. That blood was in the form of steam, and it was transported …

The Trench

featured

With the mill ruins behind us, we turned our attention towards the nearby stretch of Lake Superior shore along which the Trimountain Mill stands. Here the shore is rugged and wild, consisting primarily of tall sandstone cliffs that drop precariously down to the lake below. Finding the shore was easy, …

The Pit

featured

While massive hoist buildings are interesting, they are the type of thing we expect to find scattered about a mine site. What we found above, however, are things we don’t normally expect to find in our travels. From afar it looked to be a stone-lined pit dug into the earth, …

Under a Canopy of Yellow

featured

Leaving the sandstone and brick embellished hoist foundation behind, we headed across the old roadway at the Trimountain No.2 to a ruin of a slightly different make. Instead of the calico draped foundations found earlier we found ourselves looking at a mammoth grey block of concrete rising up from the …

A Calumet Light Pole

featured

For some reason Calumet missed a great deal of the infrastructure improvements other great cities enjoyed during the past half century. Because of that a great deal of what you find in Calumet is hold outs from another time, relics from an era dominated not by plastics and silicon but …

Clues to an Underground City?

featured

The great Calumet Metropolis was said to be as much a city as any other metropolitan center of its time in terms of public amenities, transportation, and commercial variety. This was especially true in terms of the city’s utility infrastructure, which provided access to electric lines, gas lines, sewers, drinking …

What Is It?

featured

Time to play everyone’s favorite CCE game show – What Is It – where ordinary CCE readers attempt to identify a mystery object I’ve discovered during my explorations. Today’s mystery item is brought to you from the 800 block of Oak Street in Calumet, where it sits abandoned along the …

The Tank

featured

After the discovery of the cable diverters in front of the Victoria’s rock house we knew that the hoist building would lie to the east. Considering that narrow road running in front of the rock house went in the same direction, we worked under the assumption that by following that …

Hydrants of the Copper Country

Over the past four and a half years I've happened across a lot of abandoned and forgotten pieces of the great copper empire that once was. One of the more dramatic and haunting of these remnants - for me at least - has always been the ghostly silhouette of the lonely water hydrant. I've come across more then my fair share in my travels, and I've documented most of them here on CCE. Today I thought I would use those lost hydrants as my own portal keys to the CCE of yesterday, and take you all on a trip through CCE explorations of the past. And in no particular order:

An Abandoned Osceola Location

featured

The South Hecla Shafts and Mineral Range Roundhouse – as seen from atop the Osceola No.1 Conglomerate shaft house The Osceola Mine began its illustrious life with a desperate attempt to reap the riches of the great Calumet Conglomerate Lode – a lode that had proved enormously successful for the …

LaSalle No.2 – the Leftovers

featured

Before moving on from our exploration of LaSalle No.2 we’ll take one last look at some of the odd’s and ends we found along the way. These are ruins and remnants that were not substantial enough by themselves to warrant their own post, but were significant enough to mention. Consider …

The Hydrant

poster

To me some of the most illustrative examples of the Copper Country’s fall from grace is the faded and forgotten hydrants we find sitting alone in an overgrown field or deep in the shade of a forest. It’s a powerful image that seems to singularly incapsulate the fall of a …

More Tunnels

featured

The surface plant of a mine is like any other industrial complex in its need for utilities. Besides the usual suspects such as electricity and water, a typical copper mine also required two additional industry-specific resources: steam and compressed air. Steam was used to power the various steam engines scattered …

Water Tower

featured

Fire is always a concern at a mine, both underground and on the surface. Before 1900 most infrastructure built for a mine was built from wood; wood shaft houses, wood trestles, wood collar houses, and wood stamp mills. While a fire at a mine was rare, a fire in a …

Steam Pipes

featured

Sitting just outside of “C” shaft along a overgrown ridge lies this interesting discovery. It looked to be a large pipe suspended up in the air by a series of metal frames. Upon closer inspection we found out that it was in fact two pipes (a large one and a …

A Collection of Ruins

featured

The Trimountain as it looked during operation, a more expansive surface plant then we were originally prepared for As we branch out our exploration away from the hoist and shaft ruins, we quickly discovered that we had stumbled across an expansive operation. Atop hills, along the side of hills, down …

Yet Another Mystery

featured

Before we leave the Hecla and South Hecla Mine, I would like to share one last mystery in a long line of many here. As stated before, because of the shared hoists that this mine utilized it didn’t follow the usual mine ruin pattern. Most notably this meant no hoist …

Found Along the Road

featured

looking down Mine Street towards the north, and the industrial complex of the late C&H Mine Street was the center of the universe for over a century in the Copper Country, for along its length sat one of the greatest copper mines in the world. At its height over 17 …

Watering Hole

featured

an interesting ruin on the edge of a small pond at Kearsarge Like a living creature, copper mines required sustenance to live. A mines boilers required fuel each day, and to feed their hunger trains delivered large quantities of coal to their door, piled into large mounds nearby. Those boilers …

Supply Lines

featured

The Redridge Steel Dam was built not to supply power, but to supply water. The Atlantic and Baltic stamp mills that relied on the dam required over 25 million gallons of water each day to operate. The reservoir created by the dam held over 600 million gallons of water, enough …

And All the Rest…

featured

an empty fire hydrant sits alone in the field in front of the Centennial dry By now it was getting colder, and we could sense the approaching storm. Moving away from the cable stands our gaze quickly turned to the tangle of metal and wood just outside the hoist building. …

The Parking Lot

featured

One of those things that you often don’t think about, as we didn’t, was how workers at a mine got to work. Before the advent of cars (or at least their permeation in the Copper Country) workers simply walked to work. Even during the era of cars, most workers still …